The sport of fly fishing that we all love and share is dripping with art, passion, and inspiration. What that inspiration leads to is the media and artistic content that we devour in person, in print, and now more commonly online. Via the lens, key-stroke, brush or pencil of a few, the rest of us can share and partake in the bond between anglers and the world that we fly fish.
We would like to acknowledge and salute those who inspire us with their work. Each individual is an artist of their own kind, and each has a unique perspective through which they view time spent on the water. As photographers, filmmakers, writers, and artists, these are the folks who are creating and defining fly fishing culture. What they create reflects who we are as a group, who they are as individuals, and what we love about fly fishing. Their work exposes that attraction to others in the community who may become drawn into fly fishing. Some of the names we will feature may be new to you, some may be well known legends.
Steelhead anglers are a unique breed. Who the hell could tolerate fishing for a “fish of a thousand casts”? Much less enjoy it? It’s hard to explain. However the images that Jeff Bright bring us can explain more than words I can think of. Beyond Jeff’s photographs, his writing also takes you along with him. You feel as if you are sitting next to him as his camera absorbs the incredible places and experiences he shares. Some may glance at images of brilliant steelhead momentarily stalled at an anglers feet and see only a fish. Others see those images and feel something much deeper than a fish at the shore. I’ve often wondered myself about steelheaders, “Does it take a certain breed or individual to become so passionate about the fish and places they live, or by exposure do the fish and their river create that passion in any person that allows it?”
In addition to incredible photography skills, Jeff Bright is a witty and talented writer with countless articles, features, books, and magazine articles to his credit. In an article titled “Songs From Sirens” Jeff describes his transition from gear to fly fishing for steelhead. “A couple of years and many fish later, I set aside conventional tackle and committed to fly fishing for steelhead — and instantly went from catching a lot to none. It was a strain on the ego, but thankfully I had books to keep me company and offer encouragement.”
You’ll be glad if you take a moment and visit his site. Actually, you’ll need a few days to get through all the fishy goodness. Seriously. Be warned however- you may be one of those who dabbles and experiments, tries swinging flies for steelhead “just one time” and ends up addicted and ruined for life. But never happier.